bringing balance back

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in last week's post, i talked about how things can spiral out of control (or at least feel as if they are) when we let negative emotions get the better of us.  negative thoughts breed more of the same, so it's easy to find yourself stuck in a rut.

it's funny how when we're stressed, or frustrated, or angry, we often let other aspects of our life - not just our emotions - get out of whack too.  we don't eat as well, we skip going to yoga class, and we toss and turn all night running through our to-do list or replaying events from the day.  sound familiar?

to bring balance back to your life, sometimes working from the outside-in is the best approach.  instead of getting down on yourself for feeling blue, take better care of yourself.  be gentle and kind.  as if you're your own best friend.

start your day with a few moments of quiet, whether you're lying in bed or seated.  take some deep breaths, and feel how the breath begins to settle - and balance - the body.  then, feed yourself a balanced breakfast like overnight oats or a scrambled egg to get your body going.  if your usual breakfast is sugary cereal, a bagel or donut, or nothing at all, feeding yourself a wholesome breakfast can be a real treat (in a different kind of way). 

continue to move purposefully throughout your day, with the intention not to rush.  whatever you're working on or talking about - be there.  give yourself the gift of presence.  if you can, take the time to do something you love that may even feel a bit selfish - read your favorite magazine, go to that awesome yoga or pilates or zumba class that you haven't been to in months, or take a luxurious bubble bath.  often when we feel off-balance, it's because too much of our energy is focused outward, and we get burnt out.  instead, turn-in, and see if balance begins to find you.  to complete your day, make a real dinner (no frozen lean cuisine, please), and sit at the table to enjoy it.  i guarantee that after a day or two of what i've prescribed, you'll feel balanced, calm and at peace.

in yoga we talk about the balance of effort and ease.  no pose should be all work, or all chillin' out.  there should be a balance - an ebb and flow.  life's like that too.  you need the yin and the yang for the sense of balance to come.  and, just to clarify, we're talking about "balance" in the fluid, breathing, moving sense - not in the static, holding sense of the word. 

i know the tips i mentioned above may seem obvious, but the truth is, even through we all know to some degree what will bring us greater balance and peace, so often we still don't do it.  we all need a little reminder sometimes to take time for ourselves, feed our bodies well, and move them a little bit, too.  simple practices such as these can really make a world of difference.

feeling more balanced yet?...

meditation for your journal or cushion:
what is something that you continue to do that you know takes you out of balance?
what is one thing you can do today that will bring you a sense of calm and balance?